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Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas salutes 'positive' speech by President Abbas

Published on Apr 26, 2014 10:16 PM

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas welcomed a Saturday speech by President Mahmud Abbas to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), with which it signed a reconciliation deal this week.

"The speech had mostly positive points, and we cannot but support it on topics such as Jerusalem, reconciliation and not recognising (Israel as) the Jewish state, in addition to the failure of (peace) negotiations," Mr Bassem Naim, an adviser to Hamas' Gaza Strip Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, told AFP.

Mr Abbas addressed the PLO's Central Council, which had convened in Ramallah to chart a course of action after Israel suspended United States-brokered peace talks in response to the Wednesday deal with Hamas.

Under the agreement, Mr Abbas would head an "independent government" of technocrats, to be formed within five weeks.

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